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THE THEATRE OF NEPTUNE 
IN NEW FRANCE 



FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY COPIES OF THIS BOOK, 
OF WHICH FOUR HUNDRED ARE FOR SALE, WERE 
PRINTED AT THE RIVERSIDE PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, 
U.S.A., IN SEPTEMBER, I927. 

THIS IS NUMBER. . $ J.6 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 



https://archive.org/details/theatreofneptuneOOIesc 



THE 

THEATRE OF NEPTUNE 
IN NEW FRANCE 

Presented upon the waves of Port Royal the fourteenth 
day of November, sixteen hundred and six, on the return 
of the Sieur de Toutrincourt from the Armouchiquois 
Country 

By 

MARC LESCARBOT 
The French Text 

With Translation by 
HARRIETTE TABER RICHARDSON 




BOSTON 

Printed by The Riverside Press for HOUGHTON MIFFLIN 
COMPANY in Park Street near the Common 



mdccccxxvii 



COPYRIGHT, 1927, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



tgfc&toerfitoe Press 

CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS 
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. 



NOTE 



It is singular that there has been no previous translation of 
the 'Theatre of Neptune,' by Marc Lescarbot, the pioneer 
dramatic performance in northern North America. 

The masque itself is an incident in the early history of 
European settlement in the New World that appeals to the 
heart and the imagination, and it is well that the record of 
it, and the play itself, should be set forth in English dress 
and convenient form for the benefit of those whose mother 
tongue is English. 

The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal under- 
took this work and appointed a Committee that brought 
its labors to a successful issue on August 2, 1926, when the 
company gathered for the celebration made an afternoon 
visit to the scene of the play and in the evening a com- 
memorative tablet was unveiled by the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Nova Scotia, the Honorable J. C. Tory. 

To the many friends who have helped in recalling the 
moment when Marc Lescarbot 'lived joyously* in the 
Habitation, to Professor William P. Trent, to Dr. Marion 
Tucker and Dr. Arthur Hobson Quinn, to Mr. Grant 
Mitchell and Professor George P. Baker, to Mr. George 
H. Gifford and to Mr. William C. Lane, Mr. Walter B. 
Briggs, and Mr. George P. Winship of the Harvard Col- 
lege Library, and especially to Mrs., Frederick A. Richard- 
son, whose translation of Lescarbot's masque now intro- 
duces him to a wider circle of English-speaking readers, the 
Association is sincerely grateful. 

L. M. Fortier 

Chairman of the 

Commemoration Committee 

Annapolis Royal 
Nova Scotia 
Aprils 1927 



CAIRN MARKING THE SITE OF THE FIRST STRONGHOLD OF PORT 
ROYAL 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Performance of 'The Theatre of Neptune,' Port 
Royal, November 14, 1606 Frontispiece 
From a drawing by C. W. Jefferys 

Cairn Marking the Site of the First Stronghold of 
Port Royal vi 

First Stronghold, or Habitation, of Port Royal, 1605- 
1613 x 
From a drawing by C. W. Jefferys 

Title-Page of the First Edition of 'Les Muses de la 
Nouvelle-France,' 1609, containing 'Le Theatre de 
Neptune' xiv 

Church of St.-Germain-l'Auxerrois, where Marc Le- 
scarbot was Married xviii 

Champlain's Figure of the Habitation of Port Royal xxii 

Manuscript Sonnet by Lescarbot 4 
From the original in the Boston Public Library 

Map from Champlain's 'Voyages' (1613), Showing Cap 
Blan (Cape Cod), Lake Champlain, the St. Lawrence 
River, the Bay of Fundy, Port Royal, etc., and the 
Ship Jonas 8 

Champlain's Map of Port Royal 12 

Lescarbot's Map of Port Royal 18 

Champlain's Map of Port Fortune (Stage Harbor, 
Chatham, Cape Cod) 22 

Poutrincourt's Men Surprised by the Savages at Port 
Fortune 26 
From Champlain's 'Voyages' (1613) 



Except as otherwise noted the facsimiles are from material in the 
Harvard College Library. 



INTRODUCTION 



The first drama given on the American continent, north 
of the Spanish settlements, was a masque, written and 
staged at Port Royal, Acadia, New France, in the year 
1606. When Marc Lescarbot, a young lawyer of Paris, 
hastily took his pen in the wooden stronghold of the c Hab- 
itation ' and wrote ' The Theatre of Neptune,' he became 
the leading dramatist on the continent. Captain Far Fan 
was his only known rival, and his serio-comic production 
had been given eight years before on the bank of the 
Rio Grande. 

This gay piece of courtly fun welcomed Jean de Bien- 
court, Sieur de Poutrincourt, leader of the second expedi- 
tion sent to Acadia by Sieur de Monts, as he returned, dis- 
appointed, from a voyage down the coast to Port Fortune 
searching a warmer site for settlement. Press notices of the 
event are still extant in 'The History of New France' and 
in the 'Voyages' of Champlain. There were no critics and 
there is no record of a second performance. 

The masque was set in the open air among the wavering 
lines of autumn hills that enclose the wide waters of the 
royal harbor and the action took place upon the waves and 
upon the frozen riverbank before the newly decorated en- 
trance to the Habitation, a frail wooden fort, lone neighbor 
to unfriendly Florida. In the roadstead sheltered by its 
firred island lay anchored the two-masted barque, built at 
Port Royal, whose broken rudder had delayed the return 
of the exploring party. 

The 



X 



Introduction 



The players in the performance were certain gentlemen 
and 'common men' of the expedition left at the Habitation 
for '2 shillings a day hire' in charge of Lescarbot during 
September and October. These men, together with the 
surprised voyageurs, completed the company. 

As Sieur de Poutrincourt and his party prepared to land 
in the shallop, they saw advancing toward them the great 
god Neptune, royally robed, bearing the symbols of his 
power and attended by six noble Tritons. To the rear 
trailed more humble beings, four supposed savages in 
canoes bearing gifts. On the shore, directing his company, 
stood the playwright, his kitchen savory with the feast to 
come, his cannoniers with fuses primed and ready, his 
heraldic shields emblazoned upon wall and gate. 

Seated in the shallop was Charles de Biencourt, eldest 
son of his father, a mere lad, of 'great integrity and very 
estimable qualities/ well versed in sea ways and four years 
later to be created Admiral of the High Seas of New France. 

Over the sides of the barque into the shallop came Mas- 
ter Stephen, the surgeon. The beneficent art of this sur- 
geon, whose lack of ointments had hastened the return of 
the seafarers, was apparent upon the persons of three 
people, one of whom, Robert Pontgrave, son of the fear- 
less navigator, carried his hand bound in a sling with 
three fingers missing through an inadvertent musket shot. 
Bandaged also was Jean du Val, locksmith, of unique re- 
putation, 'pierced by an arrow in the breast and sore 
wounded' as the result of his love of freshly baked biscuits 
at Port Fortune. ' Better had it been for him that he had 
died of his wounds/ narrates the history, ' than to have 
lived to be hanged/ which unhappy end took place in 

Quebec 



Introduction 



xi 



Quebec, where du Val holds the unique reputation of be- 
ing the first white man to undergo this experience in New 
France. In the young man dying from his wounds and 
whose name Lescarbot has withheld through kindness 
since his disobedience cost his life, the busy Master Stephen 
had his third patient. 

With this party was uneven-tempered Pierre Augibaut, 
called Champdore, pilot of the barque, obstinate and 
skilful, and at his side was the worthy apothecary, Louis 
Hebert, first cultivator of the soil in Quebec, who for the 
moment was bemoaning a bundle of precious grapevines 
that he had gathered and had left at Port Fortune. In the 
background was the valet, Estienne, whose negligence in 
the loss of these grape roots had brought him a brave 
beating from his master. Here came Daniel Hay, the lusty 
carpenter, a man who 'pleasured in the dangers of the deep 
sea/ and towering among his companions in accomplish- 
ment was Samuel Champlain of Brouage, brusque, practi- 
cal, strong in his youth, and cherishing his newly made 
map, the future organizer of all that was stable in French 
possessions. These were the men safely arrived from the 
country of the Armouchiquois watching the lordly Neptune 
and his followers approach. 

In the pages of the two historians present are named 
other men whose parts in the play are unknov/n: they were 
Ralleau, the active and forever traveling secretary to de 
Monts; Le Fevre of Retel, who never had left his cabin the 
long voyage over until he scaled the mast when land was 
sighted; and Foulgere de Vitri, of whom little is spoken; 
Sieur de Boullet, years later to become the brother-in-law 
of Champlain, and who is tersely described as having 

suffered 



xii 



Introduction 



suffered greatly from fever at the Habitation and 'to have 
taken excellent care of himself.' La Taille and Micquelet 
were among this group, two men of unusual bravery, since 
alone they had guarded the Habitation buildings during the 
early summer. 

Somewhat as chorus, perhaps as an astonished audience, 
uncomprehending yet amused, gathered the people of the 
ancient chief Membertou who in this century year of his 
life beheld new things. That the playwright sensed a 
larger and more fashionable interest across the sea in the 
Palace of the Louvre and that he wrote his slight verses to 
please the eye of Henry the Fourth, the masque itself gives 
internal evidence. 

Present, in spirit, were the honorable merchants Mac- 
quin and George, partners of de Monts, living in Rochelle. 
Their generosity had bestowed upon the colony forty-five 
hogsheads of wine, which 'did not come amiss and caused 
certain of the company to make gay dogs of themselves.' 

By trumpet, by cannon shot, and with song and speech 
the playful welcome was given, and this first drama on the 
seaboard was played. 

Three years after the entertainment at Port Royal in 
1609, the first edition of 'The Theatre of Neptune' was 
printed in Paris and sold by Jean Millot 'at the steps of the 
great hall of the Palace.' The verses are to be found in the 
thin volume entitled 'The Muses of New France,' and the 
twelve remaining poems of the little book sketch vivid 
descriptions of the New World and of the persons and 
episodes in the great adventure. The original edition of the 
'Muses' and those following are bound into the small 
vellum cover with the larger work of the author, 'The 

History 



Introduction 



xiii 



History of New France.' The two final printings in 1617 
and 161 8 were brought out by the house of Adrian Perrier. 
In all, five editions of the 'History' and 'Muses' appeared 
in a span of nine years while Lescarbot lived and enjoyed 
their popularity. 

In the final editions the 'History' was edited and en- 
larged and slight verbal changes were made in the Masque. 
So keen was the interest of the public that the chapters 
dealing with the history of Port Royal were done into 
English by Pierre Erondelle, a Huguenot refugee teaching 
French in London. His quaintly charming version, shorn 
of the vanities of verse and published in the same year as 
the first edition in Paris, was in all probability considered 
carefully by the Pilgrims of Plymouth. 

Since the day of Lescarbot the Masque has reappeared 
twice. Edwin Tross, in Paris, 1866, reprinted the edition 
of 161 1 familiar to Parkman, and in 19 14 The Champlain 
Society of Toronto, Canada, edited by Grant and Biggar, 
published a fine translation of 'The History of New 
France,' together with full notes on the life and works of 
Lescarbot in which, however, the 'Muses' remained in 
their original French. Historians have noted freely the 
verses and have described variously this picturesque 
ceremony. 

While 'The History of New France' was dedicated to 
Henry of Navarre, to the Queen and to the Dauphin, the 
'Muses' were placed under the care of Monseigneur 
Nicolas Brulart, Seigneur of Sillery, Chancellor of France 
and of Navarre. In the dedication Lescarbot writes: 'The 
Muses of New France, having passed over from another 
world, this day appear before you in the hope of receiving 

protection 



xiv 



Introduction 



protection from you, who are father of those who live upon 
the Parnassus of our France. ... If they are poorly clothed 
and in rustic garments, consider, Monseigneur, the country 
from which they come, uncultivated, shaggy with forests, 
and attribute to the company they have kept and to the 
sea, their defects/ 

The Masque consists of verses spoken by Neptune, his 
Tritons, and the attending savages in praise of the valor of 
France in her sea discovery, the debt France owes to her 
sailor men, the courage of de Monts, and of de Poutrin- 
court, and the great qualities of the King. With one eye 
upon the distant Henri of Navarre the fifth Triton makes 
his mischievous jokes in Gascon, and in the same spirit of 
play the fourth Indian gives up allegiance to his unreward- 
ing goddess, Diana. The rhythm of the verse is partially in 
Alexandrines, yet variously changes with each speaker, 
showing a wide knowledge of the literature of his day at 
command of the author. Into the play is set a chant, or 
song, a sad little air of the fifteenth or sixteenth century, 
the prayer to Neptune, used by Lescarbot as contrast to 
his playfulness and sung more than once in all probability 
on the riverbank to voice the homesickness of the wan- 
derers. Slight as is the literary value of this earliest drama, 
the clean gayety of the Masque, written far from every 
civilizing influence, is a rare tribute to the gentlemen of 
Port Royal and to their polished courage. 

It is impossible to read the Masque and not become 
aware that the moment from which it sprung is one of the 
finest in the history of the seaboard settlements. Three 
men, each possessing genius, lived together a few brief 
months, Jean de Biencourt, Sieur de Poutrincourt, noble- 
man 



LES MVSES 

DE LA N O WELLE 

FRANCE. 

A MONSEIONEVK 

L E CHANCE LLIE R.' 

^£via Vimilum fer^gro locd nuUms ante 
Trita fclo 




A PARIS 

Chez Iean Mi i lot, fur Ls degrez dc 
la grand' falle du Palais, 



M. D. C IX. 



Introduction 



xv 



man and soldier, Samuel Champlain, explorer and geo- 
grapher, and Marc Lescarbot, lawyer and historian. They 
worked untiringly, they played heartily, and the echoes of 
their good cheer linger. 

Upon the interplay of these personalities, and their 
destiny formed by the desire of France to found a company 
similar to the great India company in Holland and to 
harvest in New France the riches of the beaver skins, to 
colonise, and to baptise in the name of Christ, the back- 
ground of the Masque is woven. 

Marc Lesbarcot was born in Vervins, France, about 1570 
or 1575. The exact years of his birth and death are un- 
known. His family was of the lesser nobility of Picardie as 
his seat as Advocate in Parliament, later, signifies. He 
came to the notice of King Henry the Great in the year 
before his degree was granted, when chosen by his townmen 
at the magnificent conference of the Peace of Vervins, he 
delivered his stirring oration in Latin, later printed, 'A 
Thanksgiving for Peace/ given before the Papal Delegate 
at the signing of the papers, May 31, 1598. At this time 
France and Spain, after nine years of destructive conflict, 
became friends. 

Such disinterested enthusiasm was characteristic of the 
future man. His observant and practical comprehension of 
affairs and his imaginative vision led him to publish notable 
articles and verse of unusual range during the thirty-one 
years in which he is actively in print. Each production is 
stamped with an alert curiosity of mind, solid learning and 
vivacity of spirit. In the Easter vacation of 1608, he began 
his History of New France in Paris and had finished his 
manuscript by the autumn. He occupied for many years, 

the 



xvi 



Introduction 



the position of Commissaire de Marine and in 1612 went 
with Pierre de Castille, Ambassador of Louis XIII to 
Switzerland. He was again in France two years later. In 
1 619 Lescarbot married in the church of Saint-Germain 
TAuxerrois Mademoiselle Francoise de Valpergue and took 
the title of Wiencourt and Saint-Audebert. No children 
are known to have been born to them. 

After his treatise on 'The Victory of the King against 
the English' at the siege of New Rochelle in 1629, he is 
silent and is thought to have died on his estate in 1634. 

Impetuously in Easter week, 1606, Lescarbot left Paris 
to sail with his friend and client de Poutrincourt to the 
New World. In a letter to his mother, printed together 
with the verse 'A Farewell to France/ at Rochelle, April, 
1606, he asks pardon for leaving her without farewell and 
tells her that she may perchance find his hasty departure 
on this unique adventure strange, 'undertaken more from 
the compelling courage of youth than from oversight or 
from disobedience.' He adds that he goes 'with the desire 
to carry the faith of Christ and the name of France among 
the barbarous people destitute of the knowledge of God.' 
To the fulfillment of this wish he was faithful, becoming 
through the death of the priest, the sole religious teacher 
at the Habitation. 

As shown by his writings, Marc Lescarbot was a man of 
slight bodily force, yet full of nerve, a fine integrity and 
with understanding of his fellowmen. His interpretation of 
the Indians of his day is singularly fair, his description of 
new flora and new customs is exact. He was gay in the 
face of despondency and somewhat of a poet, and his im- 
pulsiveness and little vanities sit pleasantly upon him. 

Such 



Introduction 



xvii 



Such a man, probably near his thirtieth year, offered his 
welcome to honor Sieur de Poutrincourt on the noon of a 
chilly autumn day. 

The man whom the 'Theatre of Neptune' honored was 
Jean de Biencourt, Sieur de Poutrincourt, Marsilly-sur- 
Seine, Dumensil, Chantenes Vimeu and Guibermensil, 
Baron of Saint-Just and Port Royal, and Chevalier of the 
Order of the King. Sprung from a lineage, the most 
ancient in France, his ancestors for generations had been 
the friends of its kings, his sister Jeanne was maid of honor 
to Mary Stuart, and de Poutrincourt himself had become a 
personal friend of Henry the Fourth, and one whose loyalty 
was warmly recognised. To this Catholic gentleman of 
Picardie the undefined domain of Port Royal had been 
confirmed during the preceding year and here in this chosen 
place, he held steadfast his desire to open the New World 
and to settle his wife Claudine Pageot and his family, in 
peace, in the exquisite country that from his day to this is 
better described as Arcadia than as Acadie. In this hope, 
for which he gave his fortune, he was disappointed. He 
died fighting for Louis XIII at Mery-sur-Seine in his fifty- 
ninth year. 

To Sieur de Poutrincourt, his courage, sagacity, and 
leadership through a series of years, is due the final estab- 
lishment of New France. Upon his activity and determina- 
tion the colony was kept alive until the organization of 
Champlain built Quebec. As Lescarbot says of the expedi- 
tion on the 'large' ship Jonas of 150 tons, flying the white 
banner of the king * the hope of New France was assembled.' 

The 'Theatre of Neptune' was given for the entertain- 
ment of men whose courage was out of the ordinary, whose 

remembrance 



xviii 



Introduction 



remembrance of thirty-five dead from scurvy across the 
bay at Saint-Croix was keen as November cold settled upon 
them. The imagination of Lescarbot looks forward as he 
closes the introduction to 'The Muses' — 'Yet, if it comes 
to pass, monseigneur, that by your favor, assistance and 
support there should come a day among the mountains and 
the brooks that run from them in Port Royal that they, 
the Muses, should have the power to grow more gentle 
and should answer in more polished language to the music 
of Apollo. . . . Then, in their songs let them remember the 
kindness of him who having been honored by his king and his 
country and by all Christianity would still hold it not below 
the dignity of a Chancellor of France that he should aid the 
establishment of the Muses of New France across the sea and 
further west, for the conversion of the unbelieving peoples.' 

In the three hundred and more years since the Masque 
was written the name of the country has changed. The 
site of the Habitation in Port Royal, Acadia, is to-day 
Lower Granville, Nova Scotia, and Port Fortune, in the 
country of the Armouchiquois, most truly called Port 
Misfortune, is Stage Harbor, Chatham, Cape Cod. Six 
miles to the north of Lower Granville on the arm of land 
where Sieur de Poutrincourt tilled his first wheat fields 
stands the beautiful town of Annapolis Royal, bearing a 
portion of the name inherited after the Habitation was 
destroyed and the more protected site chosen in 1632. On 
Allen's Creek, where de Poutrincourt erected his grain- 
mill, live the descendants of the friendly Souriquois, the 
present Micmac Indians, who still keep the name of 
Membertou in faithful remembrance. Among the balsam 
woods leading toward the 'troutery' of Champlain are 

traces 




CHURCH OF ST.-GERMAIN-L'AUXERROIS 
Where Marc Lescarbot was married, September 3, 16 19 



Introduction 



xix 



traces of the allees, the pleasure walks, of de Poutrincourt, 
Champlain and Marc Lescarbot. On the river-bank where 
the Habitation overlooked the island, stands a cairn placed 
in 1924, commemorating the settlement and the 'Order of 
Good Cheer' inaugurated by Champlain in the festive 
winter following the presentation of the Masque. 

In August, 1926, at the summer meeting of the Historical 
Association of Annapolis Royal, a tablet in honor of 'The 
Theatre of Neptune' was unveiled. It was through the 
activity of the members of the Association and the interest 
of L. M. Fortier, Honorary Curator of the Fort Anne 
Museum that the translation of the Masque was prepared. 

The translation follows the text of the edition of 1609. 
The music of the song is added through the courtesy of Mr. 
Marius Barbeau of Ottawa; the form of Lescarbot's song 
is so nearly that of 'La Petite Galiotte de France' sung 
to-day that it seems probable that it was sung to the same 
music. 

Another incident equally interesting in the rebuilding of 
the play has been the discovery in the Boston Public 
Library of an autograph and a Sonnet inscribed by Les- 
carbot on the fly leaf of his verses, 'Le tableau de la Suisse' 
and apparently presented by him to a friend. 

These comments on the 'Theatre of Neptune* were 
penned in the Habitation. In his Voyages — Edition of 
1613, Champlain notes, 'Upon our arrival, Lescarbot, who 
had remained at the settlement along with the others who 
had stayed there, welcomed us with sundry jollities for 
our entertainment.' 1 Lescarbot writes, 

After 

1 H. B. Biggar. Voyages of Samuel Champlain. 



XX 



Introduction 



'After many perils (which I will not compare to them 
of Ulysses, nor of /Eneas, fearing to defile our holy voyages 
with prophane impurity) Monsieur De Poutrincourt 
arrived in Port Royall the 14. day of Nouember, where we 
received him joyfully, and with a solemnity altogether new 
in that part. For about the time that we expected his 
returne (with great desire, and that so much the more, 
that if any harme had happened him, we had beene in 
danger to have confusion among our selves) I aduised my 
selfe to shew some jollity going to meet him, as we did. 
And for as much as it was in French verses made in haste, 
I have placed them with the Muses of Nova Francia by 
the title of Neptunes Theater, whereunto I refer the 
Reader.* 1 

Harriette Taber Richardson 

April 21, 1927 
1 Pierre Erondelle. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 



Neptune, The Sea God 

First Triton 

Second Triton 

Third Triton 

Fourth Triton 

Fifth Triton, A Gascon 

Sixth Triton 

Four Savages 

The Gay Companion 

Jean de Biencourt, Sieur de Poutrincourt 
Gentlemen Sailors Trumpeters 
Surgeons Laborers Cooks 

Savages 

Place 

Before the Habitation in the Harbor of Port Royal, 
Acadia, New France 

Scene 

On the waves of Port Royal Harbor 
In the shallop and canoe 
At the landing place before the Habitation 

Time 

In the reign of Henri of Navarre 

Explorers 



xxii Dramatis Persons 

Explorers arriving in the shallop from Port Fortune 1 
Jean de Biencourt, Sieur de Poutrincourt, Baron St. 

Just, de Marsilly-sur-Seine, de Guibermensil, Chantenes, 

Dumensil, Vimeu, Baron of Saint-Just and Port Royal, 

Chevalier of the Order of the King 
Charles de Biencourt, fifteen or sixteen years of age, 

son of de Poutrincourt 
Samuel Champlain of Brouage, Royal Geographer 
Robert du Pont, son of Pontgrave 
Pierre Augibaut, called Champdore, pilot 
Louis Hebert, the worthy apothecary 
Daniel Hay, carpenter 
Master Stephen, surgeon 
Jean du Val, locksmith 
Estienne, valet to de Poutrincourt 
A dying man, unnamed 

Present as audience or possibly as actors on the shore 
were : 

Ralleau, secretary to Sieur des Monts 
Sieur de Boullet, future brother-in-law 
to Champlain 

Folgere de Vitri \ Noblemen 

Le Fevre of Retel 
De Noyes 

Francois Ardamin, provider of birds and game for the 

household 
La Taille 
Micquelet 

Membertou, Sagamos of Souriquois, his family and people 



1 These names are gathered from Lescarbot's History of New France 
and Champlain's Voyages, especially the edition of 1 6 13 of the latter. 



LE THEATRE DE NEPTUNE EN LA 
NOVVELLE-FRANCE 



Cherchant dessus Neptune vn repos sans repos 
J' ay faconne ces vers au branle de ses flots. 



LE THEATRE DE NEPTVNE 
EN LA NOVVELLE-FRANCE 



Represent^ sur les flots du Port Royal le quatorziSme de Novembre mi lie six 
cens stXy au retour du Sieur de Poutrincourt du pais des Armouchiquois. 

Neptune commence revetu d'vn voile de couleur bleue\ & de brodequins, ay ant la 
chevelure & la barbe longues & chenue's, tenant son Trident en main, assis 
sur son chariot pari de ses couleurs: ledit chariot traini sur les ondes par 
six Tritons jusques h Vabord de la chaloupe oil s'estoit mis ledit Sieur de 
Poutrincourt & ses gens sortant de la barque pour venir a terre. Lors ladite 
chaloupe accrochSey Neptune commence ainsi. 

NEPTVNE 

yjRRETE, Sagamos,* arrete toy ici, 
Si Et ecoutes f vn Dieu qui a de toy souci. 

Si tu ne me conois, Saturne Jut mon pere, 

Ie suis de Iupiter £s? de Pluton le frere. 
Entre nous trois jadis Jut parti VVnivers> 
Iupiter eut le ciel y Pluton eut les enfers, 
Et moy plus hazardeux eu la mer en partage, 
Et le gouvernement de ce moite heritage, 
Neptvne c'est mo nom y Neptune Vvn des Dieux 
Qui a plus de pouvoir souz la voute des cieux. 

Si r/iomme veut avoir vne heureuse fortune 
II luifaut implorer le secours de Neptune. 
Car celui qui chez soy demeure cazanier 
Merite seulement le nom de cuisinier. 

Ie fay que le Flamen en peu de temps chemine 

Aus si-tot 

* C'est vn mot de Sauvage, qui signifie Captaine. 
■j- [Regardes. Edition of 1612-1618]. 



4 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



Aussi-tot que le vent iusques dedans la Chine. 
Ie fay que Vhomme peut, porte dessus mes eaux, 
Uvn autre pole voir les inconeuz flambeaux, 
Et les homes franchir de la Zone torride, 
Ou bouillonnent les flots de V element liquide. 
Sans moy le Roy Francois * d'vn superbe elephant 
N'eust du Persan receu le present trivmphant: 
Et encores sans moy one les Francois gendarmes 
Es terre du Levant n eussent plante \ leurs armes. 
Sans moy le Portugais hazardeux sur mes flots 
Sans renom croupiroit dans ses rives enclos, 
Et n'auroit enleve les beautez de V Aurore 
Que le monde insense folatrement adore. 
Bref sans moy le mar chant, pilot e, marinier 
Seroit en sa maison comme dans vn panier 
Sans h peine pouvoir sortir de sa province. 
Vn Prince ne pourroit secourir V autre Prince 
Que fauroy separe de mes profondes eaux. 
Et toy-meme sans moy apres tant d'actes beaux 
Que tu as exploit e en la Francoise guerre, 
N'eusses eu le plaisir d'aborder cette terre. 
Cest moy qui sur mon dos ay tes vaisseaux porte 
Quand de me visiter tu as eu volonte. 
Et nagueres encor cest moy qui de la Parque 
Ay cent fois garenti toy, les tiens, & ta barque. 
Ainsi ie veux toujours seconder tes desseins, 
Ainsi ie ne veux point que tes effortz soient vains, 
Puis que si constamment tu as en le courage 

Be 

* Charlemagne [Editions of 1612-1618]. 
t [Porte in Edition of 161 8.] 




/rw-t.iv. £.<x*il*«< A*»y. <j"t VV««- -fvu-fc £a. ^tampc* 



Ip&ttx./VttTtuti*'- Stir it ^ *t*%*. &%_j-ny*S\ ("l fa»«>w( , 



£^ 2W 4ati**A4X ^-d£i«zv* ic*^"** «>«»-vt. 



MANUSCRIPT SONNET BY LESCARBOT 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 5 



Be venir de si loin rechercher ce rivage, 
Pour etablir ici vn Royaume Francois, 
Et y faire garder mes statuts & mes loix. 

Far mon sacre Trident par mon sceptre ie jure 
Que de favoriser ton projet i'auray cure, 
Et oncques ie n'auray en moy-meme repos 
Quen tout cet environ ie ne voye mes flots 
A hanner souz le faix de dix milles navires 
Quifacent d'vn clin d'oeil tout ce que tu desires. 

Va done heureusement, 6? poursui ton chemin 
Oil le sort te conduit: car ie voy le destin 
Preparer a la France vn florissant Empire 
En ce monde nouveau, qui Men loin fera bruire 
Le renom immortel de De Monts & de toy 
Souz le regne puissant de HENRY voire Roy. 

Neptune ayant acheve i vne trompete commence a eclaier 
hautement & encourager les Tritons a faire de meme. Ce 
pendant le fieur de Poutrincourt tenoit son epee * en main, 
laquelle il ne remit point au fourreau jusques a ce que les 
Tritons eurent prononce comme s'ensuit. 

PREMIER TRITON 

Tu peux (gr~d Sagamos) tu peux te dire heureux 
Puis quvn Dieu te promet favorable assistence 
En l y affaire important que d'vn coeur vigour eux 
Hardi tu entreprens, for cant la violence 
D'Aeole, qui toujours inconstant & leger, 

Tantot 

* [Nue inserted in Edition of 161 8.] 
f Mot de Sauvage, qui signifie Ami. 



6 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



Tantot adesquides,t tantot pousse d'envie, 
Veut te precipiter, & les tiens, au danger. 

Neptune est vn grand Dieu, qui cette ialousie 
Fera comme fumee en Pair evanou'ir: 
Et nous ses postilions, malgre /' effort d'Aeole 
Ferons en toutes parts de ton courage ou'ir 
Le renom, qui desja en toutes terres vole. 

DEVXIEME TRITON 

Si Iupiter est Roy es cieux 
Pour gouverner ca has les hommes, 
Neptune aussi Vest en ces lieux 
Pour meme effect; & nous qui sommes, 
Ses supposts, avons grand desir 
De voir le temps la iournee 
Quayes de tes travaux plaisir 
Apres ta course terminee, 
Afin qu'en ces cotes ici 
Bi en-tot retentisse la gloire 
Du puissant Neptune: & quainsi 
Tu eternises ta memoire. 

TROISEME TRITON 

France, tu as occasion 
De loiier la devotion 
De tes enfans dont le courage 
Se montre plus grand en cet age 
Quil ne jit one es siecles vieux, 
Estans ardemment curieux 

De 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



1 



De /aire eclater tes louanges 
lusques aux peuples plus etranges, 
Et graver ton los immortel 
Meme souz ce monde morteL 
Aide doncques & favorise 
Vne si louable entreprise, 
Neptune s'offre a ton secours 
Qui les tiens maintiendra toujours 
Contre toute Vhumaine force. 
Si quelqu'vn contre toy s y efforce. 
'II ne faut jamais rejetter 
' Le bien qu'vn Dieu nous veut preter. 

QVATRIEME TRITON 

Celui qui point ne se hazarde 
Montre qu'il a Fame coiiarde, 
Mais celui qui d'vn brave coeur 
Meprise des flots la fureur 
Pour vn sujet rempli de gloire 
Fait a chacun aisement croire 
Que de courage & de vertu 
II est tout ceint & revetu y 
Et quil ne veut que le silence 
Tienne son nom en oubliance. 

Ainsi ton nom {grand Sagamos) 
Retentira dessus les flots 
U or-en-avant y quand dessus Ponde 
Tu decouvres ce nouveau monde y 
Et y plantes le nom Francois , 
Et la Majeste de tes Rois. 



CINQVIEME 



8 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



CINQVIEME TRITON 

Vn Gascon prononca ces vers H * peu pres en sa langue. 

Sabets aquo que volio dire> 
Aqueste Neptune bieillart 
L autre jou faisio del bragart y 
Et comme vn bergalant se miro. 

Nagaires que faisio I'amou, 
Et baisavo vne jeune hillo 
Quero plan polide & gentillo, 
Et la cerquavo quadejou. 

Bezets, ne vous fizets pas trop 
En aquels gens de barbos grisos, 
Car en aquelos f entreprisos 
Els ban lou trot & lou galop. 

SIXIEME TRITON 

Vive HENRI % le grand Roy des Francois 

Qui maintenant fait vivre souz ses loix 
Les nations de sa Nouvelle-France y 
Et souz lequel nous avons esperance 
De voir bien-tot Neptune revere 

Autant ici quonqil fut honore 
Par ses sujets sur le Gaullois rivage, 
Et en tous lieux oil le brave courage 
De leurs ayeuls jadis les a porte. 
Neptune aussifera de son cote 
Que leurs neveux s 'employans sans feintise 
A Fornement de leur belle entreprise y 

Tous 

* [En in Edition of 1611-12-18.] 

f [Aqueles in Edition of 1618.] % [Henry in Edition of 161 8.] 



MAP FROM CHAMPLAIN'S VOYAGES (1613), SHOWING CAP BLAN 
(CAPE COD), LAKE CHAMPLAIN, THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER, 
THE BAY OF FUNDY, PORT ROYAL, ETC. 
The ship (two views) is the Jonas. The letter A near Malle barre indicates 
the location of Port Fortune 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 9 



Tous leurs desseins il favorisera, 
Et prosperer sur ses eaux if /era. 

Cela fait, Neptune s'equarte vn petit pour faire place h vn 
canot, dans lequel estoient quatre Sauvages, qui s'ap- 
procherent apportans chacun vn present audit sieur de * 
Poutrincourt. 

PREMIER SAVVAGE 

Le premier Sauvage offre vn quartier d' 'Elian 
ou Orignac, distant ainsi. 

De la part des peuples Sauvages 
Qui environnent ces pais 
Nous venons rendre les homages 
Deuz aux sacrees Fleur-de-lis 
Es mains de toy, qui de ton Prince 
Representes la Majeste, 

Attendans que cette province 
Faces florir en piete, 
En moeurs civils, & toute chose 
Qui sert a V establissement 
De ce qui est beau, & repose 
En vn Royal gouvernement. 

SAG AMOS, si en nos services 
Tu as quelque devotion, 

A toy en faisons sacrifices 
Et a ta generation. 

Noz moyens sont vn peu de chasse 
Que d y vn coeur entier nous fqffrons, 

Et 

* [Sieur de missing in 1618 edition.] 



io The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



Et vivre toujours en ta grace 
Cest tout ce que nous desirons. 

DEVXIEME SAVVAGE 

Le deuzieme Sauvage tenant son arc & sa fleche en main, 
donne pour son present des peaux de Castors disant: 

V oici la main, Fare, £s? la fleche 
Qui ont fait la mortele breche 
En r animal de qui la peau 
Pourra servir d'vn bon manteau 
{Grand Sagamos) a to hautesse. 

Recoy done de ma petitesse 
Cette offrande qua ta grandeur 
Toffre du meilleur de mon coeur. 

TROISIEME SAWAGE 

Le troisieme Sauvage offre des MATACHIAZ, e'est <5 dire, 
echarpes, 6? brasselets /aits de la main de sa maitresse, disant: 

Ce n'est seulement en France 
Que commande Cupidon 3 
Mais en la Nouvelle-France, 
Comme entre vous, son brandon 
II allume; & des ses flammes 
II rotit nos pauvres ames, 
Et fait planter le bourdon. 

Ma maitresse ay ant nouvelle 
Que tu devois arriver, 
M'a dit que pour F amour d'elle 
Teusse a te venir trouver, 
Et qu offrande ie te fisse 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France n 



De ce petit exercise 

Que sa main h sceu ouvrer. 

Regoy doncques d'allegresse 
Ce present que ie fadresse 
Tout rempli de gentillesse 
Pour V amour de ma maitresse 
Qui est ores en detresse, 
Et n'aura de Hesse 
Si d'vne prompte vitesse 
Ie ne lui di la caresse 
Que m'aura fait ta hautesse. 



QVATRIEME SAVVAGE 

Le quatrieme Sauvage n'ayat heureusement chasse par les bois, se presente 
avec vn harpon en main, & apres ses excuses faites, dit qu'il s'en va d la 
peche. 

SAG AMOS > pardonne moy 
Si ie viens en telle forte. 
Si me presentant h toy 
Quelque present ie n'apporte. 
Fortune n y est pas toujours 

Aux bons chasseurs favor able > 
C'est pourquoy ay ant recours 
A vn maitre plus traitable, 
Apres avoir maintefois 
Invoque cette Fortune 
Brossant par Fepes des bois, 
Ie men vay suivre Neptune. 

Que Diane en ses forets 
Ceux qu'elle voudra caresse y 
Ie n y ay que trop de regrets 

D y avoir 



12 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



U avoir perdu ma jeunesse 

A la suivre par les vaux y 

Par les monts, & par les plaines* 

Avecque mille travaux, 

Souz des esperances vaines. 

Maintenant ie men vay voir 
Par cette cote marine 
Si ie pourray point avoir 
Dequoy fournir ta cuisine: 
Et cependant si tu as 
Quelque part en ta chaloupe 
V n peu de caraconas,f 
Fournis-en moy & ma troupe. 

Apres que Neptune eut este remercie par le sieur de Poutrin- 
court de ses of res au bien de la France, les Sauvages le 
furent semblablement, de leur bonne volonte & devotion; 
& invitez de venir au Fort Royal prendre du caracona. 
A Finstant la troupe de Neptune chante en Musique a 
quatre parties ce qui qui s'ensuit: 

Fray Neptune donne nous 
Contre tes flots asseurance, 
Et fay que nous puissions tous 
V n jour nous revoir en France. 

La Musique achevee, la tompete sonne derechef, & chacun 
prent sa route diversement: les Canons bourdonnent de 
toutes parts, & semble a ce tonerre que Proserpine soit 
en travail d' 'enfant: ceci caufe par la multiplicite des 

Echoz 

* [This entire line missing in Edition of 1612. The order of lines changes 
and the word bois is substituted for monts in Edition of 161 8.] 
t C'est du pain. [Caracona in edition of 161 8.] 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 13 



Echoz que les cotaux s'envoient les vns aux autres, lesquelz 
durent plus d'vn quart d'heure. 
Le Sieur de Poutrincourt arrive pres du Fort Royal, vn 
compagnon de gaillarde humeur qui Vattendoit de pie 
ferme, dit ce qui s'ensuit. 

Apres avoir longtemps (Sagamos) desire 
Ton retour en ce lieu, en fin le ciel ire 
A eu pitie de nous, nous monstrant ta face 
II nous fait paroitre vne incroiable grace* 

Sus doncques rotisseurs, depensiers, cuisiniers, 
Mettez dessus dessouz pots & plats & cuisine, 
Quon bailie a ces gens ci chacun sa quarte pleine, 
le les voy alterez sicut terra sine aqua. 
Garson depeche-toy, bailie a chacun son K. 
Cuisiniers, ces canars sont ilz point h la broche? 
Qiion tue ces poulets, que cette oye on embroche, - 
V oici venir h nous force bons compagnons 
Autant deliberez des dents que des roignons. 
Entrez dedans, Messieurs, pour votre bien-venue, 
Quavant boire chacun hautement eternue, 
A fin de decharger toutes froides humeurs 
Et remplir voz cerveaux de plus douces vapeurs. 

le prie le Lecteur excuser si ces rhimes ne sont si bien limees 
que les hommes delicats pourroient desirer. Elles ont estefaites 
a la hate. Mais neatmoins ie les ay voulu inserer ici, tant 
pour ce qu 'elles servent h notre histoire, que pour montrer que 
nous vivions joyeusement. Le surplus de cette action se peut 
voir a la fin du chap. 45. liv. 2. de mon Histoire de la Nouvelle- 
France, pa. 617. 

* [// nous a fait paroitre une incroyable grace in Edition of 1611-12.] 



La Priere X Neptune 





§- -rt fc . . . .. Hy— r— g i 


Vray Ncp - 


tu - ne don - ne nous Con-trc tea flots as • seu 

i ? j- i J q -Mr t f =i 


ran - ce, 

Off 


Fay que nous puis-sions tous Un jour nous re -voir en 


1 


Fran - ce, Et 

f?J t-t 


fay que nous puis-sions tous Un jour nous re-voir en 









Fran - ce. 



This air has been adapted from 'La Petite Galiotte de France,' 
a song popular in the fifteenth or sixteenth century and sung 
to-day in Canada. M. Marius Barbeau, of Ottawa, who made 
the adaptation, considers that in all probability the song was 
used by Lescarbot, who changed the words to suit the masque. 



THE THEATRE OF NEPTUNE 
IN NEW FRANCE 



THE THEATRE OF NEPTUNE 
IN NEW FRANCE 



Presented upon the waves of Port Royal the fourteenth day of November, 
sixteen hundred and six, upon the return of Sieur de Poutrincourt from 
the Armouchiquois country. 

Neptune speaks first robed in a veil of blue, with buskins, gray hair and 
a beard worn long. He holds his trident in his hand and is seated upon 
his chariot adorned with varied colors. The chariot is drawn over the 
waves by six Tritons and so they come in state to the side of the shal- 
lop in which Sieur de Poutrincourt is sitting with his company ready 
to leave the boat and go ashore. As the shallop grapples, Neptune 
speaks as follows. 

NEPTUNE 

HAIL to you, Sagamos,* rest and remain awhile ! 
Come, listen to a God who welcomes with a smile! 
And if you know me not, great Saturn was my sire, 
Brother am I to Jove, and Pluto, God of fire. 
Of old the world was held by us in equal part, 
Jove rules the windy sky, Pluto the flaming heart, 
And I command the sea, the mighty waves my care. 
Where deepest danger lurks is my appointed share. 
Neptune is my dread name, Neptune, Sea-lord am I, 
Most powerful of Gods, beneath the vaulting sky. 

If a man has the wish and a will to succeed 
The help of Neptune he must make bold to plead, 
For he who is house-bound and never will look 
Outside, merits chiefly the name of a cook. 

I order 

* This is a savage word meaning Captain. 



1 8 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



I order that the Fleming shall reach the China Sea, 
With favoring wind and wave made fortunate through me. 
I order that the man who dares my crested heights, 
Shall see another pole and unknown, vivid lights. 
Or he may cross the borders of the wide and torrid zone, 
Where elemental waters steam, deserted and alone. 
I led to a French King,* enthroned and jubilant, 
The gift from jewelled Persia, of a princely elephant. 
And more, without my help, the gallant French gendarmes, 
In the countries of the East had never planted arms. 
Without my power, the Portuguese, who venture any 
weather, 

Were cooped within their coasts, lost to glory altogether, 
And the beauties of Aurora had never been unfurled, 
To be adored with madness, throughout the foolish world. 
In brief, without Neptune, the merchant, pilot, sailor, 
Would each remain at home, like a veritable tailor. 
And unless he had the power to sail out from his land, 
No Prince could succor Prince, his drawn sword in his hand. 
For I can part kings widely with the depths of my gray seas, 
And you, without Neptune, had never fought with ease 
Nor performed your own brave deeds in the terrible French 
war; 

Nor had you landed here, after sailing from afar! 
It is I, on my wide back, your toy ships have carried, 
When your wish to visit me in a little, you have tarried. 
I overpowered Fate and won from her dread lip 
One hundred guarantees for you and for your ship. 

So, 

♦Charlemagne. [Note to 1618 Edition. In the year 801 Harun-al- 
Rachid exchanged gifts with Charlemagne.] 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 19 



So, I will always send good winds to fill your sail. 
The day will never dawn when your splendid plans shall 
fail. 

Fine courage you have had, that has led you to explore 
With a bold constancy this strange and fog-bound shore, 
That you may here establish a wide realm for France 
And carefully may guard my laws from all mischance. 

By my sacred trident, by my sceptre, I now swear 
That to favor this high project shall be my happy care! 
Even though you override me I shall never take my rest, 
Until you bring the burden and the toil to my breast, 
Of ten thousand busy ships that with noisy hue and cry 
Shall carry out your orders in the twinkling of an eye. 

Go, then, with happiness, and follow on your way 
Where ever fortune leads you, since I foresee the day, 
When a prosperous domain you will prepare for France 
In this fair, new world and the future will enhance 
The glory of de Monts, so too, your name shall ring 
Immortal in the reign of Henry — your great king. 

Neptune having finished speaking, a trumpet sounds 
loudly, to encourage the Tritons to do the same. In the 
meantime Sieur de Poutrincourt takes his sword in his 
hand which he does not replace in the scabbard until 
the Tritons have spoken as follows: 

FIRST TRITON 

By right, great SAGAMOS, you name your luck as rare, 
Because a fostering god has promised you his aid 
In this important work, wherein with dauntless care 
And hardy venturing, your conquest bold is made 

Over 



20 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



Over strong ^Eolus. He, changing and unstable, 

Often Adesquides,* at times by envy driven, 

To harm you and your friends has found himself unable. 

Our powerful Neptune, this jealousy has riven, 
And scattered as light smoke, it vanishes on high. 
We, Tritons, his postillions, despite Eolian hate, 
Triumphantly your courage to outer shores will cry, 
Although your fame already has flown through every 
state. 

SECOND TRITON 

If Jupiter is lord of skies 
And governs men upon the earth, 
On sea, the realm of Neptune lies 
With equal part and we by birth 
His Tritons are. Our greatest pleasure 
And wish to see the hour and day 
Your arduous task may bring fair leisure 
And your cruise end so glad a way 
That these wild coasts, this fragrant land 
May long reecho with the glory 
Of proud Neptune ! Thus, you shall stand 
And place your name in deathless story ! 

THIRD TRITON 

France, with fairest reason 
Your praises are in season 
For sons whose love and loyal courage 
Appear more grandly in our age 

Than 

* A savage word that signifies Friend. 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 11 



Than in the centuries of old. 
Through eager care and action bold 
They seek to honor you and place 
In farthest lands, to a strange race, 
The codes of your immortal law 
That mortal world shall hold in awe. 

Then give your help and prospering favor 
Unto so wonderful a labor! 
Neptune, himself, gives godlike power 
To you and yours in this great hour. 
No human force can bring you harm 
Whatever threat may bring alarm 
' For man should never lose or spend 
Good fortune that a god shall send.' 

FOURTH TRITON 

The man who dares not take a chance 
Is called a coward, at a glance. 
Yet he who with brave heart is born, 
Holding the furious waves in scorn, 
Who, on high quest, will strive for glory, 
Wins all the world to trust the story 
That courage and civility 
Enforce in him authority. 
This man will never wish his name 
In silence wrapped and lost to fame. 
Thus, Sagamos, your name shall ring 
Above the wide seas echoing, 
More surely, since beyond the deep 
You find an unknown world asleep. 

You 



22 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



You bind thereon the name of France, 
Her kingly power and circumstance. 

FIFTH TRITON 

A Gascon pronounces these verses after his own dialect. 

Listen, to what I want to say 
About dat high flown God Neptune! 
I caught de peacock — t'odder day 
Carryin' on lak one dragoon. 

Don't be surprised dat he mak love, 
An' kissed one pretty, leetle girl; 
Dat he were soft, lak one beeg dove. 
Wid hees whole heart he hunt dat pearl. 

Look out, you don' trusts too queek, 
De peoples wid long beards, all gray; 
For in dis game, dey know one treek, 
Dey trot one while, den race away. 

SIXTH TRITON 

Hail, King of France, Henry the Great! 
Under your law New France holds her state. 
New nations are yours, rich in your name, 
And we, the bold Tritons, hope that the fame 
Of Neptune, in reverence, here you may hold 
High, as when in the days of old 
The God was praised and worshipped by all 
The dwellers upon the coasts of Gaul; 

In 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 23 



In regions where courage and hardiest daring 
Called heroes abroad to fearless sea-faring. 
These, their descendants, for unselfish labor 
Our God will cherish in his special favor 
And prosper the end of their splendid emprise 
Upon the great waves where his empire lies. 

After this, Neptune withdraws a little to give place to a 
canoe, in which are four Indians who approach, each 
bearing a present to Sieur de Poutrincourt. 



FIRST INDIAN 

The first Indian offers a quarter of a moose or deer, speaking as follows: 

In the name of the peoples uncouth 
Whose homeland is bound by their seas, 
We come to give our vows, in truth, 
Unto the sacred Fleur-de-lis 
Unfurling from your faithful hand. 
You act in princely majesty, 
Watchful to tend in this rude land 
The habit of sweet piety 
And gentler ways, to foster all 
That should secure establishment 
Of common good, or what may fall 
To build a Royal Government. 
So, Sagamos, in every act 
You find us friends, in verity, 
And true devotion in our pact 
With you and your posterity. 

Our little talent in the chase 
We beg you use, from hearts entire. 

To 



24 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



To live forever in your grace 
Is all our wish, our whole desire. 

SECOND INDIAN 

The second Indian holding his bow and arrow in hand gives for his 
present some beaver skins, saying: 

Here is the hand, the arrow and bow 
That pierced the hide and dealt the blow 
Upon this beast, whose furry skin 
Shall serve as a coat and wrap therein 
Great Sagamos, your lordly self. 
Accept, high sir, this woodland pelf 
Rifled by one, so low in part. 
The humble gift, I offer from my heart. 

THIRD INDIAN 

The third Indian offers Matachiaz,* that is to say, a scarf and bracelets 
made by the hand of his lady love, saying: 

'Tis not alone in France 
That Cupidon commands 
Throughout this young new France 
As in your world he stands 
And lights his torch with flame, 
To heat our hearts, his game. 
So plants he his light wands. 

My mistress heard the news that sped 
As herald you were to arrive, 
For very love of her she pled 
That I should find you and contrive 

* [Matachiaz, an Indian word for porcupine-quill or bead embroidery.] 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 25 



To offer you her humble duty, 
Through this small gift of dainty beauty 
Her skilful hand has made alive. 

Receive, kind sir, with cheerfulness 
This gift to you that I address ! 
A work all wrought with gentleness, 
In courtesy of my mistress. 
She would be sad and in distress 
And lose her pretty playfulness 
If promptly and with nimbleness, 
I may not tell her of a kindness 
Shown to me, here, your noble highness. 



FOURTH INDIAN 

The fourth Indian, having been unfortunate in his hunting, presents 
himself with a harpoon in hand and after his excuses have been made 
says that he is going to fish. 

Sagamos, pardon me, 
If before you, here, I stand, 
Present, in this company, 
With no present in my hand. 
Fortune is not always kind 
Her good hunters cheering ! 
For this reason I must find 
Another field — I'm fearing. 
For, through many useless days 
I invoked frail Fortune, 
Her wooden swords I toss away 
To follow after Neptune. 
Let Dian hold in sylvan shade 
Those she would caress, in truth. 



26 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



My regrets will never fade 

That I lost my lusty youth 

And her clumsy cattle chased 

Over hills * and near-by plain; 

Many a hundred trails I traced 

And always found my hopes were vain. 

Now, I am about to try 
My luck upon this rocky coast. 
Perchance upon the shore will lie 
Something for your cook to roast. 
And now, monseigneur, if you see 
Within the locker of your sloop 
Some caraconas,f give to me 
And I will share it with my troop. 

After Neptune had been thanked by Sieur de Poutrincourt 
for his offers toward the good of France, the Indians were 
also thanked for their good wishes and devotion, and they 
were invited to come to Fort Royal and to take bread. 
At this moment the troupe of Neptune sings in music of 
four parts the verse that follows. 



FOUR PART SONG 

Give us your pledge, great God Neptune, 
Against wild ocean arrogance. 
And grant us all, as your high boon 
That we may meet again in France. 

The 



* [The Edition of 1618 has the word bois (woods) for mortis (hills).] 
t That is, bread. [This custom of bread-giving was first observed by 
Lcscarbot at Canso in 1606.I 



The Theatre of Neptune in New France 27 



The music having finished, the trumpets sounded again 
and each man took his several way. The cannons broke 
forth on all sides and it seemed as though Proserpine 
were in birth pangs for her child. This effect was caused 
by the innumerable echoes sent back against one another 
from these hills and which continued for a quarter of an 
hour. The Sieur de Poutrincourt having arrived before 
Fort Royal habitation, a companion in a merry mood 
who was waiting for him patiently, spoke as follows: 

Sagamos, the days of loneliness are past. 
An angry heaven ordains your safe return at last, 
And with relenting pity has shown to us your face, 
Dispersing all our care with kind, surprising grace. 
Come, then, chefs, cooks, and boys — all you who make 
good cheer. 

Scullions and pastry cooks, let soup and roast appear, 
Ransack the kitchen shelves, fill every pot and pan 
And draw his own good portion * for every eager man ! 
I see the men are thirsty, SICUT TERRA, SINE AQUA 
Come, hurry boy, and pour for each his beaded measure. 
Bestir yourselves, be brisk. Are the ducks on the spit? 
What fowl have lost their heads? The goose, who cares 
for it? 

Hither have sailed to us a band of comrades rare; 

Let portions and their hunger be matched with equal care. 

Enter within, messires, your welcome gaily seize, 

Let each man drain his cup ! Let each man strongly sneeze ! 

That never a frosty humor his person may contain 

And only sweetest vapors may crowd his merry brain. 

I ask 

* [The portion was three pints per person.] 



28 The Theatre of Neptune in New France 



I ask the reader to excuse these rhymes if they are not 
as well polished as a well-bred man would wish. They 
were made in haste. But nevertheless I have a wish to 
insert them here because they serve as a part of our history 
and to show that we lived joyously. The further part of 
the action may be seen at the end of Chapter 16, book 4, of 
my * History of New France.'